Media and politics

This debate combined Lords second reading debate on the the remaining stages of the Finance Bill with discussion on the Economic Affairs Committee’s Finance Bill Sub-Committee’s report on the draft Finance Bill (which focused on making tax digital), published back in March 2017 – see here.  This is a link to the recommendations in that report. The debate jumped around a bit which is not surprising given the Finance Bill was more than 600 pages long and the debate lasted only an hour.

The controversial subject of how to tax inherited wealth was the subject of a lively CIOT/Institute for Fiscal Studies debate at the RSA which treated its guests to a history of inheritance tax and a comparison to the system used on the other side of the Irish Sea. An audio recording of the debate is available below.

This a live blog of the emergency debate in the House of Commons about the 'Paradise Papers', held on November 14th. The Paradise Papers is the name given to a huge leak of documents, mostly from the law firm Appleby, which has thrown light on the world of offshore finance.

The leak of 13 million documents, mostly from the law firm Appleby, and follow up reporting by the Guardian, BBC Panorama and others, has once again opened up the debate about international tax both for corporates and for private individuals.

In response to an urgent question from the opposition, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride made a statement and took questions from MPs on the revelations contained in the first extracts of the so-called ‘Paradise Papers’.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has published a report on preparing legislation. While not tax-specific many of its recommendations relate to tax legislation and it quotes CIOT evidence in a number of places. 

A live blog on the Public Accounts Committee's examination of HMRC performance in 2016–17 and HMRC Estate.

The BEIS and Work and Pensions Committees continued their inquiry into the Taylor Review. Professor Sir David Metcalf CBE, Director, Labour Market Enforcement, was the sole person giving evidence on this occasion. His office is made up of a small team of eight people, which reports to the Home Office (responsible for the GLAA, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) and BEIS.

There was a debate about HMRC’s “Building our Future” programme which sets out to close 137 offices and centralise in 13 large regional hubs and four specialist sites. HMRC will keep open a limited number of transitional sites, for several years. Labour and SNP MPs spoke in favour of a pause to the programme, with Conservatives keen to continue it.

There was a debate in Westminster Hall on the taxation of beer and pubs. Two things are important to know, last March the Government announced that beer duty, along with other alcohol duty rates, needed to rise in line with RPI.